Edited by Massimo Cerruti and Stavroula Tsiplakou
[Studies in Language Variation 24] 2020
Chapter 8. The role of interdialectal forms in the formation of koinai
The study of the changes that are taking place in European dialects reveals the existence of opposing tendencies: convergent, leading to homogenisation, and divergent, promoting diversity. This paper aims to analyse a case of dialect divergence in a speech community in the Canary Islands through the study of a series of linguistic and social factors that constrain the alternation between the lax and tense variants of the plosive palatal /c/, lax /c/ being the traditional form and tense /c/ being the innovative variant. The new form, [cʃ], can be considered as an interdialectal or hybrid variant, since it contains features from the corresponding standard form, /tʃ/, and the vernacular one, /c/. The analysis of sociolinguistic factors enables a more precise understanding of the way in which the hybrid variant contributes to delaying the language homogenisation observed in other levels of the dialect.